Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday: Pope feels kids' feet

Pat Macpherson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly;
Pope Francis washes the feet of prisoners in a youth detention center (Reuters/BBC)
Why talk about Catholicism? Although the USA accounts for only 6% of Catholics worldwide, it is the majority religion here. So much so that there are six Catholics on the Supreme Court and three Jews, although the latter represent less than 1/300ths of the US population. Many, many Buddhists are recovering Catholics or otherwise disaffected members of other spiritual traditions such as Judaism.
The new Italian-Argentine Holy Roman pontiff, the formerly Argentinian-junta-aligned Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis I) humiliated himself today in the footsteps of St. Issa (Jesus as he is known in Kashmir, India)... sort of.
Catholic Church's Pope Emeritus with "friend"
Imagine washing the feet of the poor. What a wonderfully humble gesture, which takes and produces humility. Now make those the feet of poor inmates. What selflessness!  Now make them young boys with pretty feet (and two hapless girls), and it makes one wonder about the rebirth of the Vatican and its global reach. 
Is it turning a new leaf, or is it just changing wallpaper? Weren't the priest going to give up children for lent?
The beloved new head of the corporation, who took the greatest Catholic saint's name, twisted this annual act into something less than admirable by making it oppressed children, likely sexually harassed and/or molested in detention.
Did they really want a creepy older white man in a priest's outfit fondling their clean feet? Let's hope so. It is a beautiful tradition. Maybe next year he'll go with poor dirty adult female feet.
Foot fetish?
Monument to St. Issa's feet with crucifixion marks near his tomb in Kashmir, India
(BBC) Pope Francis has washed the feet of [sexy young] prisoners in a youth detention center near Rome as part of the Maundy Thursday service.
The Christian ritual takes place on the Thursday before Easter to commemorate Christ's Last Supper. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists are arriving in Rome to attend ceremonies during the holy week ahead of Easter.
In a homily, the Pope earlier urged priests to do less "soul-searching" and engage more with parishioners.
"It is not in soul-searching... that we encounter the Lord," he told hundreds of cardinals, priests, and bishops in St. Peter's Basilica.
"We need to go out... to the outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters."
Worshippers should "leave Mass looking as if they had heard good news," he added.
Gesture of humility[?]
During Thursday's intimate service at Casal del Marmo, the Pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 young detainees to replicate the Bible's account of Jesus [St. Issa] Christ's gesture of humility towards his 12 apostles on the night before he was crucified.
The 12 inmates included two girls, one Italian Catholic and one of Serbian Muslim origin, local prison ombudsman Angiolo Marroni said ahead of the ceremony.
Some of the prisoners volunteered to have their feet washed, while others were given an invitation to help them overcome their embarrassment, the Catholic News Agency quoted the prison chaplain as saying. More

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